Friday, 28 June 2019

Year end wrap up!

Hi everyone, it’s the last post of the year so I just want to take some time to look back at an amazing school year. 

I may be a little bit biased, but we have the best students in the world. Yes, they make plenty of mistakes, but their compassion, humour and energy make every day in this building enjoyable. One of the best things about being a teacher is that you get to be around young people and you get to see their growth from day to day. I know for myself, it gives me energy and I look forward to seeing each and everyone of them on a daily basis. I hope you all have a wonderful summer vacation. Make sure to read, write, play, spend time outdoors and visit with friends and family. We cannot wait to see you next fall!




I also want to take a moment to thank our amazing staff. It is amazing to be around a group of people that are so dedicated to their profession. Our students are very lucky, and I know even though they would never say it, they are thankful for everything you do, and every opportunity that you provide. Our students went on more field trips and had so many new learning experiences because our staff is always searching for new and creative ways to engage our students in learning. 
It's also important to remember that Helen, Sherman, Barry and Kristine are not in this photo, but they are equally as important to the success of our school. 

We finally put our plaque on our memorial bench for Janessa Pauls. The bench used to be located at the back of the school, but it has been moved to the front, so that more people will use it. Janessa was a wonderful person, who brightened up our school every day. She loved to be around friends, and there is probably no more fitting of tribute to her memory than people sitting on the bench laughing and joking with one another. 


Bandit Year End Awards:
Thanks to everyone who attended our awards night. As a staff we are aware that the night can be quite long, but we do think it is very important that we have an evening in which we can celebrate our students' achievements. I have to give a big thank you to Sherry for organizing this entire event. I think in September we decided that Sherry and I would plan the awards night, which turned out to be just Sherry planning the evening. Thank you for doing that, it is greatly appreciated. 

I guess I will wrap up my blog for the year. I hope everyone has a great summer. I am very excited to be trying our new flexible learning in Jr./Sr. high next year. It will be a very challenging year, but I think it will all be worth it. 

I look forward to seeing you all in the fall. Now it's time for me to slip off to Paris for a few days! (Big thanks to my wife, for looking after our three kids while I am away!) 







Thursday, 18 April 2019

Easter Break!





I have to make a confession, much like the rest of you, I also forgot that I wrote a blog for the school. So this is actually my first blog post since December. I sincerely hope that I did not disappoint my three readers, with such a long hiatus.

When we return from break there will only be 41 student school days remaining. This means the students in Sr. High are going to have work really hard to ensure they complete everything to earn their credits. With Easter this late in the year, it will seem like the next two months will fly by, so it is really important that everyone comes to school each day, ready to learn.

This year as a staff we have done a lot of work redoing our school mission statement. We had many meetings and discussions about the skills we would like every student to develop while they are in our building.

Bjorkdale School Mission Statement: Growing independent, dynamic, diverse, young learners up to their potential.
We recognize that this is quite a mouthful, so we also came up with a mantra that could be easily repeated and would help drive the learning process in our school.
Our new mantra: GIDDY-UP.








Not only is this an acronym for our mission statement, but it fits well with our current school mascot and we think it encapsulates the concept of resilience that we want each of our students to develop. You will be seeing new signage appear inside the school over the next few months.

If you have a student in middle years or high-school, you may be aware that next year we are changing the way we deliver education. Our new model is called Flexible Learning. This means that our schedule is going to be more fluid and allow students to have choice about the subjects they are learning about each day. One of our main goals next year is to drastically improve our student’s independence and resilience. While we feel that we have many strong learners, we also understand that learning does not stop once you leave school and in order to continue that development you have to be self-motivated, and also able to adapt and bounce back if you are not initially successful.

The junior high students will also be working on cross-curricular learning. This means that we will be focusing on our core subjects: Math, ELA, Science, Social and incorporating the other course outcomes (Health, Art, PAA etc) into those core subject areas. This should provide the students with more meaningful studies.
If you are wondering why we are making these changes, it is very simple… we believe that this will benefit our students in the long term. We do not want compliant learners, we want independent learners who are driven by their own thirst for knowledge. We also know that our staffing numbers fluctuate and this new system will allow us to adapt to changes in staffing without affecting the quality of education that we provide to our students.

Below is the image of the schedule that we will be offering next year. If anyone has any comments or concerns about this schedule please contact me at the school.



I have also attached a video that I uploaded last year about changing educational paradigms by Sir Ken Robinson which I think helps us look at education differently.




The Bjorkdale Staff would like to wish you all a wonderful Easter Break, and I hope that everyone is able to relax and spend a little time with family and friends before the hectic time of the year begins.




























Friday, 21 December 2018

Happy Holidays

Season’s greetings from the staff and students at Bjorkdale School. It’s hard to believe that it is Christmas time already. December has been a very busy time in our school. The SRC put on a lot of great events this month. Students participated in a variety of activities from riddle solving, and door decorating, to Christmas Just Dance parties. It was a big success and hopefully it becomes a Bjorkdale School Christmas tradition.




Speaking of great school traditions, this week we held our annual School Bonspiel and it was a huge success. It is always great to see our students from all ages working together and cheering one another on. I want to thank Leta, Andrea and Sherry for all of their work in the kitchen. The meals were excellent and it made the event even more enjoyable. Thank you to Marty and Eldon for organizing the draw and making sure the ice was clean and in perfect condition. It is a good reminder that parent and community volunteers are crucial to our success as a school.



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I need to give a big shout out to Rhett Hegland, a student in Grade 7. Rhett was picking a prize from the curling bonspiel and decided that rather than keeping the prize for himself he would donate it to a younger student instead. It was an act of great generosity and selflessness. Rhett is an amazing student, he is always willing to volunteer, and it is so nice to know that we can always rely on Rhett whenever we need help. Keep up the great work Rhett, you are turning into a great leader in our school. We are all very proud of you!



Helen and Sherman Babcock have the most thankless jobs in our building. On Wednesday, Helen had to come to the school early in the afternoon to clean up sewer water that was backing up out of the toilets. This was a very unpleasant job, yet Helen did it with a smile on her face. Helen and Sherman always keep our school looking good and running smoothly. A lot of times their work goes unnoticed, even though they are spending countless hours washing floors, cleaning toilets, clearing snow etc. If you see Helen or Sherman over the holidays make sure to express your gratitude for everything they do.  Our school would not be the same place without them.




The Christmas Concert took place on Thursday and it was fantastic. The playschool kids participated well and sang their hearts out. The kindergarten to grade six students put on a masterful rendition of The Grinch that Stole Christmas, and the junior and senior high students dazzled us with their humorous interpretation of the First Christmas. Thank you to Ms. Delorme, Ms. Currey, Ms. Vecchio and Mrs. Mohr for all of the hours they spent practicing their plays and creating props. The results were well worth it. The students were wonderfully prepared and the show was enjoyed by all.

I hope everyone enjoys the break. This is an important time for students and teachers to recharge their batteries. January can be a very stressful month, especially if you are in high school, so make sure to get as much rest as you can. Have a great break and see you in 2019!






Friday, 9 November 2018


Today we had our Remembrance Ceremony at the hall (last minute change of venue). It was a great success! Trace and Anna were the MC's and did a fantastic job, and our entire student body worked together to make the ceremony went off without a hitch. We even added a new tradition of laying a wreath at the Cenotaph in Memorial Park. Thank you to everyone who helped and participated. Hopefully everyone will take a moment on Sunday to think about the sacrifices that the men and women in our country have made and are still making every day to ensure we have our freedom. Thank you.



Thursday, 27 September 2018

Welcome Back!


I’m a little late to update my blog, but now that school is back into the swing of things I would like to officially welcome everyone back for another exciting school year. I hope that everyone had a wonderful summer and that you are all surviving this awful fall weather that we are having.


This year our school is focusing on several initiatives to help our student’s become more resilient. Mrs. Mohr is in the process of teaching the middle years and high school students about the Circle of Courage. The Circle of Courage is based off the work of Dr. Martin Brokenleg. Dr. Brokenleg believes that we need to teach our children the skills of mastery, belonging, generosity and independence in order for them to become highly successful, resilient, life-long learners. I think his message is very important and it has really made me think about the way we approach education. A lot of times the focus is on student academic achievement, but the Circle of Courage points out that it is our job to make well-rounded students who can be successful in all aspects of their life.



This year we have changed our Student Representative Council so that all students, grades 7-12 are on the SRC. So far the students have been very willing participants and we have some great ideas for this year. The SRC came up with a new mission statement: “Creating positivity that brings everyone together and to provide opportunity.” This will be the SRC focus for the year and we are very excited about it. The SRC will be doing different fundraisers throughout the year and all of the money will be going towards purchasing athletic uniforms for our sporting clubs and towards purchasing various musical instruments that can be used by the students.


The SRC will be hosting the annual Terry Fox run on Friday, Sept 28th at 1:00 pm. This event is open to the community and we would love to see people come out and support a great cause. Students have pledge sheets and should be canvasing around town.





The 28th is also Orange Shirt Day which is a day to bring awareness to the survivors of the Residential School System in Canada. Please wear your best orange gear and join us on Friday for both Orange Shirt Day and the Terry Fox Run.







There was exciting news out of the province this week that more than 75% of students across Saskatchewan are now reading at or above grade level. We still have a long ways to go, but this is substantial progress from where we once were.  Star-Phoenix news article_Reading


The PAA 7-9 class is currently taking Food Studies (Home Ec. for people over the age of 30), and they have committed to cooking all the food for harvest dinner this year. This is a major undertaking, but I know all of the students are up for the challenge.

























I would like welcome all of our new Kindergarten students to the school this year. We are excited to have Nora Horn, Madisyn Johnson, and Giuliana Vecchio joining our family. I would also like to welcome Aubree Johnson (Grade 2), Daniellyn Johnson (Grade 5) back to our school.



Sincerely
Geoff Goldsworthy

Friday, 29 June 2018

Summer Break is upon us


The summer vacation is here; hopefully everyone will have a relaxing and enjoyable break. While the break provides us with some much needed rest, it is also a time when a lot of students backslide and lose some of the new skills they have picked up over the school year. There are some very simple ways to avoid this backslide without making students feel like they are doing school work. Board games, card games, and dice games are not only great ways to spend time together as a family, they also help students practice their math skills. Strategy board games allow students to use their critical thinking, and sitting down and reading an entertaining book is not only relaxing but it helps to improve our reading skills.





We have had a great year at the school and hopefully next year will be the same or better. In the fall we will have some significant change. Mrs. Bailey Thiessen is moving to the community of Snow Lake, Manitoba, to be closer to her husband’s work. Mrs. Thiessen has been a very important member of our school. She started at our school on a replacement contract teaching P.E. She then filled in for Mrs. Orosz as the K-1-2 teacher for a year, and for the last three years she has been our 5/6 teacher. Mrs. Thiessen’s classroom was always well organized and innovative, and her contribution to our school will be greatly missed.













Our school community will also be growing next year, as Mrs. Orosz is expecting her second child in November. This is very exciting news, but it also means we will be adding another new staff member in October. Congratulations Mrs. Orosz, we can’t wait to see you back here in 2019! The elementary end of our school will look very different next year, but I am positive our students will still receive an amazing education. On that note, please join me in welcoming Mrs. Meghan Vecchio as our new grade 3/4 teacher. Mrs. Currey will be moving to grade 5/6.






Since it is the end of June, we will also be saying goodbye to our five graduates. Johnny Campeau, Blake Guest, Jon Hart, Jessica McCormick and Scott Spedding have been amazing ambassadors for our school and our community. Each of these unique individuals has made our school a better place. They are kind, compassionate and always willing to lend a helping hand. Bjorkdale School would like to wish you all the best in the future, and thank you to Jessica for the great cake.  






Before I end, I just want say thank you to the community for being so supportive. Our archery program would not have been a possibility without your tremendous support. I would like to thank our students for their hard work over this past year. It is easy to underestimate how tiring and difficult learning can be, so thank you for always doing your best. Thank you to the staff for all the things you do to make this school a wonderful place. One of the best things about working in this profession is being with people who are deeply invested in the well-being of students.

Have a great summer! See you again in the fall! 





Monday, 14 May 2018

Using Technology Responsibly



I recently attended a workshop on Digital Threat Assessment. This course was designed to help educators understand the technology that students are currently using, and how to ensure those students are using this technology responsibly. The workshop also provided a lot of good information for parents. I have included a link to the website at the bottom of this post, and I am also including a contract that a mother gave her thirteen year old son when she purchased him a cell phone (it is meant to be humorous, but there are also some really salient points about responsible use of technology).


Mother's contract for cell phone use

Using technology responsibly_Parent resources